Roll With It: Bicycles, Art & Culture

From riding bikes and horses to authentic Central American cuisine and more, the couple behind Jaguart helps you experience vibrant art, culture and community in Colorado Springs.

When you visit a new place, you don’t just want to look. You want to experience. For Diego Arnedo, art is the same. Its creative process is something to share, to feel and be moved, to experience with passion. Together with his wife, Adhya Spencer, the couple is Jaguart, and their art centers around events that feature DJs, dancing, culture and community as Diego paints with bright fluorescent paints made even more vivid under blacklights.

 

Diego is originally from Argentina, Adhya from Delaware. The couple met in Costa Rica and make their home in Old Colorado City on Colorado Springs’ Westside. “My inspiration is the place I live,” Diego says. “The mountains inspire me each day to be able to paint my art. I paint with acrylics. I paint murals in this city. I organize events to be able to expand the culture here.”

Diego and Adhya’s Creative Stay will lead you around their neighborhood, experiencing the overlapping cultures of the outdoors, biking, Western and Native American heritage, various foods and dining and, of course, art — all of which blend to build community.

Where to Stay: Lodging

Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort

If bikes are your jam, you’re going to love the Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort. If you like live music, community gatherings and unique, historic renovated motels, then you’ll feel right at home. With a tagline of Bike, Beer, Bed, the Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort is a 100-year-old, adventure themed hotel in Manitou Springs. The décor is historic West meets bicycles. “It’s like a dude ranch, but for bicyclists,” Adhya says. “But you don’t necessarily have to be a bicyclist to stay here.

Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort in Manitou Springs
Enjoy bikes, beers and beds at the Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Lodge in Manitou Springs. Trails in Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon Open Space and many more are a short ride away. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

The Buffalo Lodge will put you on the doorstep of Garden of the Gods and Old Colorado City on the Springs’ Westside, and its frequent events will place you in a community of people who love to gather and celebrate the beautiful places they live or are visiting. “The hospitality and service are incredible,” Diego says. “The rooms are very comfortable. The owners and managers put so much love into this place. It’s a very special place.”


DAY 1

Plan your arrival at the Buffalo Lodge for Live at the Lodge. Every Friday and sometimes Saturday nights there is live music by local artists — even on Christmas Eve. Food trucks roll in with delicious eats, and the Buffalo Lodge is always well stocked with a wide variety of local craft beers, spirits and other beverages. People dance on the patio, and fire pits add warmth and cheer. “The music is by incredible, local artists,” Diego says. “On some Sundays we even have a pool party which has music for dancing, happy people and excellent drinks. For us that is what makes this place great.”

Dancing at Live at the Lodge at Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort in Manitou Springs, Colorado
Make sure you’re there for Live at the Lodge, every Friday at Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort. Photo courtesy of Buffalo Lodge.

“It’s special because you have a mix of tourists who come and stay and locals who come for the live music, events and bike rides,” Adhya says.

Watch for other seasonal events and festivals, such as the annual Roll Bike Art Festival in May. Artists display their bike-themed work. You may find Jaguart creating a live art experience. Vendors and food trucks are onsite, and a kickoff party and other events make for a festive weekend.


DAY 2

Club Buff Bike Tribe rides to Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs
A Club Buff Bike Tribe rides to Glen Eyrie, hear Garden of the Gods. Photo courtesy of Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort.

Start your morning with a Saturday bike ride with the Club Buff Bike Tribe from the Buffalo Lodge. There’s a good chance it will be led by the hotel’s owner, Torie Griffin. These group rides are welcoming for all riders, and they won’t leave anyone behind. If you didn’t bring your own bike, don’t worry. “There’s a bunch of bikes at the lodge that you can pick from,” Adhya says. “There are tricycles and vintage bikes. There are bikes for two people. You can try one out and see what you like.” The lodge will also connect you with local outfitters if you want to rent a higher performance bike or e-bike.

You can follow the Buffalo Lodge event calendar to find rides through Garden of the Gods and other events on other days as well.

After your ride, head to Bancroft Park for the weekly Old Colorado City Farmer’s Market, June into October. It’s less than 2 miles from the Buffalo Lodge, so you might just want to ride your bike. “It’s our favorite Saturday activity,” Adhya says. “We always go and get our Rocky Ford melons, our Palisade peaches, cakes and cookies.” (Those are Colorado’s finest fruits, for those not in the know.)

Besides the locally grown produce, there are food vendors for your brunch or lunch. Diego and Adhya’s favorite is Sati Cold Brew Coffee. “They have fresh-pressed juices, great granola — everything is good!”

Diego and Adhya usually stop first at the Old Colorado City Library across the street, then shop at the market and sit on their folding chairs in the grassy park. “You feel the culture of the town at the market,” Diego says. “It’s a blessing to go to the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. It’s beautiful. I love it.”

While you’re there, make a stop across the street at the Old Colorado City Historical Society and History Center. Founded in 1859, Colorado City was the first permanent town in the Pikes Peak Region and the first capitol of the Colorado Territory. Admission is free, and you can learn about the area’s colorful Wild West history, including its era of saloons and brothels when newly founded Colorado Springs was still a dry town. “There are tunnels underneath the street used by the well-to-do people of Colorado Springs to access the bars and brothels so no one would see them,” Adhya says.

Diego has painted two interactive murals in Old Colorado City, both a pair of wings. Make sure you find them and take a selfie to light up your social media. One colorful set of wings is between the Colorado Shop and the Tibetan Arts & Crafts store on W. Colorado Avenue. It has come to be known as Gabby Petito’s wings, after the slain 22-year-old travel blogger whose Instagram photo of herself in front of the wings became a viral memorial in 2021.

Look for the other wings mural three blocks away on the alley beside the Pikes Peak Artist Collective at 2708 W. Colorado Ave. “I love interactive art,” Diego says. “People love taking pictures with it. It happens all the time that I receive photos and messages from people there. It’s a unique feeling. The people say beautiful things to me. It helps me feel that what I do is important.”

During your afternoon, be sure to get out and enjoy the natural beauty at Garden of the Gods. With wide, easy pathways, it’s easy and accessible for anyone to wander around the base of the unique red sandstone monoliths. Or follow one of the many dirt hiking trails to explore a little deeper into the park. “Garden of the Gods is from the gods,” Adhya says. “ The rock formations, the different color mountains, the scenery is breathtaking. It’s a very mystical and beautiful place.”

Diego and Adhya live nearby and draw creative inspiration from the park’s beauty. “Garden of the Gods is very important in my life,” Diego says. “It transformed my life. It gives me a lot of peace. And this is the reason I have stayed here.”

Another beautiful area less than a mile from the Buffalo Lodge is Red Rock Canyon Open Space. It also boasts miles of hiking and biking trails through sandstone cliffs and rock features, plus views that stretch across the city, Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak.

Evening sky above Trails End Taproom in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs
Bikes, hikes, beers and trail groups make Trails End Taproom a community hub in Old Colorado City. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

To explore Red Rock with a local group, check in with Trail’s End Taproom at 2925 W. Colorado Avenue. The popular pour-your-own watering hole is a hub of outdoor activity. Its weekly Trailblazers head out on group bike rides and hikes in Red Rock Open Space, just across the street. And it’s a popular spot for a post-hike or ride beer.

“Trail’s End is a really fun place,” Adhya says. “You get a card that allows you to go up to a wall filled with taps and choose your beer. You can get a little taste or fill up your pint glass. They’re a really good cornerstone for the community because they have their bike, run and climb club every Wednesday night. And they host a lot of events for the biking community.” And you can sample many of the Springs’ local brews all in one place. Goat Patch Brewing, Pikes Peak Brewing, Bristol Brewing and Storybook are some of Diego and Adhya’s favorites.

For dinner, you’re in for a treat at Monse’s Taste of El Salvador, 115 S. 25th Street, also in Old Colorado City. “Monse’s is very special for us because it represents the Central American culture and its typical food,” Diego says. “So one feels at home there.”

Owner Monse Hines has been handmaking food from her Central American homeland since 2011 and hosting crowds with warmth and kindness. Salvadoran pupusas are the specialty. “It’s a corn dough, patted out into these pancakes and stuffed with all different ingredients,” Adhya says.

owner Monse Hines serves Pupusas at Monse's Taste of El Salvador
Owner Monse Hines serves warmth with her handmade pupas and other El Salvadoran fare. Photo by Brienne Boortz.

“It has a lot of flavor and spices — and a lot of love because they prepare it in the moment,” Diego says.

The couple are also big fans of the yucca fries and fresh juices, especially the green apple hibiscus and pineapple and mango.

If you’re looking to get out on the town at night, check the schedule for a Jaguart art event where you can see Diego painting live and join in the creative experience. Diego will be dancing as he paints with vibrant fluorescent paints illuminated by blacklights. You’ll want to dance along too to the beats provided by a local DJ. And you’re likely to be in a hip spot like COATI or Lumen8 with craft cocktails and bites to keep you going.


DAY 3

Horseback riding in Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs
Academy Riding Stables leads horseback rides through the stunning scenery of Garden of the Gods. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

This is your morning to step back in time and explore the beauty of Garden of the Gods on horseback. Academy Riding Stables has been leading trail rides in the Garden since the early 1950s. You can choose between one-hour and two-hour rides. Either way, you’ll get stunning views of the Garden and Pikes Peak. Located at 4 El Paso Boulevard, it’s just over the fence from the Buffalo Lodge, so you’ll probably have already heard the horses whinnying.

“Riding horses in the Garden of the Gods helps to remember the Native Americans and how it was then,” Diego says. “The place is very powerful too.”

You’ll be hungry after your ride, so head back to Old Colorado City for brunch or lunch. Bon Ton’s Café at 2601 W. Colorado Avenue serves traditional breakfast all day, and a table on the patio will put you in the scenic center of Old Colorado City.

To experience another culture, go to Yellow Mountain Tea House at 2616 W. Colorado Avenue. There you can choose from more than 300 organic teas to relax your body, mind and soul. “This ceremonial Chinese tea house is absolutely amazing,” Adhya says. “You go in and pick your tea. They do the tea ceremony, and you can order dumplings. It’s really cool.”

Table set for tea at Yellow Mountain Tea House in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs
Experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and dim sum at Yellow Mountain Tea House in Old Colorado City. Photo courtesy of Yellow Mountain Tea House.

Before you head out of town, pick up those last souvenirs and gifts in the shops and boutiques of Old Colorado City. “I usually do my Christmas shopping for family in Old Colorado City and get Colorado t-shirts and mugs and everything.” It’s a perfect finish to take home a reminder of your Creative Stay in Colorado Springs.


Map Your Itinerary

Want to build your custom Colorado Springs itinerary? Use the Visit Colorado Springs Trip Planner tool to enter your destinations and create your maps and schedules in one spot.

For up-to-date event information when you’re in town, be sure to visit PeakRadar.com, the cultural calendar for the Pikes Peak region.

Diego Arnedo and Adhya Spencer
Diego Arnedo was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Adhya Spencer grew up in Delaware. The two met on a beach in Costa Rica while they were both living there. “I spoke no Spanish. He spoke no English, and the rest is history,” Adhya says. The couple moved to Colorado Springs in 2017 with their daughter and found new inspiration in the mountainous beauty of their new home. She is a gardener by day and art manager by night, organizing live art experiences where he paints murals and large-scale works under blacklights with vivid, bright, acrylic colors. Together they are Jaguart. The name comes from a mashup of jaguar and, of course, art. “It’s an animal that is used a lot in ceremonies,” Diego says. “It’s a powerful animal, and through the Jaguar I can achieve a lot of power and mysticism.” If there’s one word to epitomize the work of Jaguart, it is passion. “The passion I have to create my art is what I have from my culture,” Diego says. “The love that one has for what one does. My life is art. I live for art, breathe art. My focus is to better the lives of people through art.”

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